Proclamation 6305 of June 12,1991
Pediatric AIDS Awareness Week, 1991
By the President of the United States of America
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is always tragic, but especially so among children. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2,800 cases of pediatric AIDS have been reported in this country since 1982. That figure is expected to rise to between 6,000 and 20,000 in the next few years. AIDS is already the ninth leading cause of death among children between the ages of one and four, and it is expected that, during the 1990s, the disease will become an even more significant cause of death among children.
Women who are infected with the human immuno-deficiency (HIV) virus can transmit the virus to their infants during pregnancy or at birth. Currently, about 84 percent of the AIDS cases in children result from perinatal transmission. The outlook for HIV-infected babies is grim. Almost half of these children develop AIDS in their first year, and nearly 70 percent develop AIDS by the end of their second year. The median survival time from diagnosis is 38 months, and it is only 6 months for babies who are diagnosed with AIDS in their first year of life. Moreover, a disproportionate number of HIV-infected mothers are black or Hispanic, poor, or residents of the inner city; many of them will not survive to care for their babies.
As part of their overall fight against AIDS, researchers at the National Institutes of Health are studying ways to prevent transmission of the HIV virus from mother to infant. They are also investigating ways to diagnose the infection in babies at the earliest possible moment. The Federal Government and many private organizations throughout the United States are also working diligently to educate the public about AIDS and to discourage the behaviors that can put parents and their children at risk.
To enhance public awareness of pediatric AIDS, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 91, has designated the week of June 10 through June 16, 1991, as "Pediatric AIDS Awareness Week" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week of June 10 through June 16, 1991, as Pediatric AIDS Awareness Week. I call upon health organizations, the communications media, and the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.